The Myth of The Cartiers

Francesca Cartier Brickell reveals in a book curious, unexpected and never told stories behind the dynasty of the most famous jewelers of France


Even a brand like Cartier has hidden sides, or rather, curious, unexpected and never told stories to tell. And who could best fulfill the task of narrating them if not one of the descendants of the dynasty of the most famous jewelers of France? Thanks to the pen and above all to the commitment of Francesca Cartier Brickell, who for years has carried out research of all kinds in her family's archives, the book “The Cartiers. The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelery Empire" (Ballantine Books, Hardback, 2019), which reveals anecdotes and crucial moments in the evolution of the family business. Through a rich excursus of texts and images, Francesca traces a fascinating journey, from the foundation in 1847, when great-grandfather Louis-François Cartier started what has become one of the most incredible entrepreneurial adventures of the last century, up until the Seventies, when the company was sold.
The beginning of the book was given a unique episode: it was 2009, and the four generations of Cartier had gathered under one roof to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the patriarch Jean-Jacques. Grandfather asked Francesca to go down to the cellar to get the champagne to toast, and it was there that she found, by accident, asuitcase full of letters and documentsfrom the maison's first decades. Letter exchanges between his ancestors and clients such as King Edward II, the Grand Duchess of Russia,Coco Chanel,the Dukes of Windsor,Elizabeth Taylor,Grace Kelly and Queen Elizabeth. It couldn't stay all secreted in that suitcase. It was a heritage to be made public, to celebrate an extraordinary journey but also moments and important personalities of the history of the twentieth century. Et voila!

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